There has been a lot of rumbling out there about how Tony Larussa’s grinding ways can really wear a team down throughout the season. So, trying to find a way to support Larussa – I went back to look at the St. Louis Cardinals record for August and September for the last 6 years. I also included this year’s August as well. After last night’s 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball…(per BaseballReference.com) the Cardinals are now 146-146. Wow. No wonder the Cards have only made the postseason once in the last 5 years.
Plus…out of those 11 months – the Redbirds have had only 2 winning months during that stretch. In August 2009, the Cardinals went 20-6 and in August 2007, St. Louis went 15-13. They have ZERO winning months in September in the last 5 Septembers. Hmmmm – I wonder if Larussa’s grinding ways wear on teams?
I’m sorry Larussa supporters, but this kind of fading did not occur under the previous GM Walt Jocketty. This trend did not begin until Larussa was hired as GM. Just for the record…from 2001-2005 -the Cardinals record for Aug/Sept…197-107 – a .648 winning percentage. This organization needs some new blood from the top down. If I was Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr., I would be doing everything I can to hire Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman and Rays Manager Joe Maddon as soon as possible. Because you know the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs have Friedman as the #1 candidate to get their embarrassing franchises turned around. Friedman and Maddon have the Rays only 8 games back in the AL East. Yes, 8 games may sound like a lot – but when your organization has to play the free spending New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox 19 times each – every single year…it is absolutely amazing. The Rays 2011 payroll is $42 Million.
Plus, the Rays are not setup to just compete this year – they are ready to compete for years to come. Tampa has the #2 ranked farm system in baseball – and their 11-20 ranked minor leaguers would be top 5 in just about any other organization in baseball. Can you imagine what these 2 could do to get the 2nd most storied franchise in Major League Baseball history with a payroll of $110 Million – $120 Million dollar payroll year in and year out. And it is amazing how many “stars” the Rays have versus the Cardinals. The Redbirds have Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright and if I stretch it – Lance Berkman, Yadier Molina and Chris Carpenter. Plus the Redbirds have Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez listed as “future stars” by many experts.
The Rays have Evan Longoria, Desmond Jennings (future star), BJ Upton, Ben Zobrist, David Price, James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson…and Shields is the only one over 26 years of age. And don’t even get me started with their farm system…listing out all of Tampa’s “future stars” would take me until opening day next year. But I will say LHP Matt Moore to the Rays is what RHP Shelby Miller is to the Cardinals…except Moore is not having discipline issues.
This is the chance that Mr. Dewitt can be proactive and beat your biggest rival to the punch by going to get the best GM going. Friedman would help you out immediately Mr. Dewitt. The current regime will continue to ask for money for payroll to continue trying to fix the numerous bad free agent signings and poor trades they have made. Friedman would not need more money…he will think he has hit the lottery 20 times with the payroll the Cardinals have. Bill…you need to go out and overpay to get this unbelievably, smart baseball mind before anyone else does. And if you do…I can guarantee this Cardinals organization will look as good as the Tampa team does within 3-5 years at most!